Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 5, 2013.

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When his University is overrun with monsters, Dr. Bellwether must collect, train, and fuse Battle Dice to combat the invading hordes.

Welcome to John Brummel University - the world's foremost institute for Neo-Victorian studies.  Here, you'll find monsters, outdated technology, Battle Dice, charismatic zealots, traps, crumbling infrastructure, piles of dusty books.  It is - quite simply - the finest education you'll ever receive!

And we're offering you the chance to attend this prestigious school in an exciting new adventure role-playing game called Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad.  For the past year, Orlando-based indie studio Terncraft Games has been working on this innovative and intriguing project.  We've designed engaging mechanics, illustrated gorgeous environments, breathed life into enigmatic characters, and written thousands of lines of code, all in pursuit of what we believe is our best work.

In Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad, the faculty, staff, and students of John Brummel University must combat hordes of invading monsters. To do so, they’ll need Battle Dice – ancient and terrible tools of war that turn ordinary Yacht-like dice games into blood sport. Every die in your pocket can be leveled-up, trained, and fused with other dice to create powerful and effective weapons. When a hero completes a scorecard, points earned in each category translate into stats, which progress the character through ten levels of development. Sound intriguing? We’ve barely scratched the surface! You can use Battle Dice for a wide variety of challenges – from winning combat, to disarming traps, to solving enigmatic riddles. Casual players will find themselves engrossed in the game's whimsical narrative and breezy surface gameplay, while die-hard RPG fans will appreciate the depth and richness of Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad's innovative dice mechanics. Be bold: explore the grounds, fight the monsters, and unlock the secrets of John Brummel University!

Key Features

  • Enhance your heroes with 12 unique Battle Dice.
  • Explore sixteen beautiful environments.
  • Battle ten terrifying and/or adorable monsters.
  • Enjoy a fully-realized, whimsical narrative.
  • Play as four enigmatic characters, each with unique abilities.
  • Promote your game with endless arena battle action.
  • Collect lore pages, and learn the secrets of the University.
  • Complete your beastiary, and study the creatures haunting JBU.
  • Unlock achievements, and achieve a greater sense of self-worth.

You might be wondering: "Who are the handsome and intelligent people who came up with this stuff?"  For starters, we're passionate about making great games.  Our co-founder, David J. Sushil, is best known for creating Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare, an indie game that won several awards, including a spot in the prestigious PAX 10 Showcase (2011).  Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad's unique look is provided by Samantha Poslinski, who made her indie game debut in Not Without You, a puzzle game featured in the Boston Indie Showcase at PAX East in 2012.  Rounding out our team is Adam Jones Productions - the business end of Terncraft.  AJP's claim to fame: their flagship title, Word Drop, has received over 300 million plays to date.

As you can probably tell from our launch video, we've put a lot of hard work into Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad already.  We've completed a great many animations, environments, gameplay mechanics, and narrative elements. We've also successfully deployed the game on Windows PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7.  In short, this isn't just a concept - it's a product, and it's rapidly nearing completion.

With your support, we can make Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad bigger, badder, and more accessible.  With your support, we intend to bring this innovative game to a wider variety of platforms, including OUYA, Windows Phone 8, Linux, and Blackberry 10.  With your involvement, we can also bring the rich and intriguing world of John Brummel University into greater focus, expanding our collection of heroes, monsters, and environments.  In short, during the development of this game, we've discovered more.  Let's explore this new territory together!

Below is a sample of some of the cool rewards we're offering for you - our awesome backers!  Be sure to check out our Final Week Deals section below!  

NOTE: International backers, please add $20 to offset the cost of shipping when selecting physical rewards.  Thank you!

Contribute $5 and we'll send you a personalized Thank You video message from a member of our development team.  Your support means a lot to us, and every bit counts!  

A digital diploma in .PDF format from John Brummel University?  That would look pretty sweet printed out and hanging on your wall, bro.  We'll give you a selection of Neo-Victorian majors to choose from (things like Metallurgy, Etiquette, Pugilism), and we'll even personalize it with your name.  NOTE: John Brummel University is not accredited and no other school in its right mind would even consider accepting a transfer student from there.  All previous reward tiers are included.

Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad is an art-rich game.  Our talented team has assembled a collection of gorgeous illustrations and other graphical assets.  We'll provide a selection of our best in digital form: desktop wallpapers, icons, avatars.  We'll even provide skins for popular social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.  In short: if you're an art fan, this is a great tier to get started with.All previous reward tiers are included.

This is it: the finished copy of the game in digital format, available for PC, Mac, or Linux (your choice).  All previous reward tiers are included.

Can't wait for the finished game?  Contribute at this tier and receive ongoing access to our Beta builds.  That means you'll get to play Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad before it's even released!  Not only will this make your friends incredibly jealous, but you'll enjoy the privilege of helping to steerthe game's development by providing critical feedback.  Is there a chance you'll be able to point to a feature and say "that was me"?  You bet!  All previous reward tiers are included.

This is our first physical reward tier.  At Terncraft Games, we love collectible 1" buttons.  You'll get FOUR of them delivered to your door - four randomly selected buttons from our stash of Terncraft swag, and an exclusive Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad button only available to our Kickstarter backers.  You'll also get a set of eight delightfully creepy collectible promo cards to keep or share with your friends.  All previous reward tiers are included.

We are super excited about this tier!  Dust Gnomes are monsters plaguing John Brummel University, and while they're certainly dangerous, they're just so darn cute.  These adorable critters are handmade by the development team.  Own a one-of-a-kind collectible Dust Gnome, and also get all previous reward tiers.

This tier is for art lovers! You will receive a 32 page booklet featuring all of the collectible Lore in the game, as well as concept artwork, secrets, and fun never-before-seen doodles. You'll also get a 24" x 36" Skirmish Squad poster to hang on the wall, stickers, and a digital copy of the game's soundtrack.  All previous reward tiers are included.

Enjoy the Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad logo on a limited edition short-sleeve T-shirt. It's a wearable symbol of your commitment to this game! We'll also upgrade that digital John Brummel University diploma to a physical one, printed on high quality card stock.  (Of course, even that won't make up for the school's complete lack of standing in the eyes of more reputable and "modern" educational institutions.  Pssh...)  All previous reward tiers are included.

This reward tier is something truly special! At Terncraft, we've been working on a spinoff dice and deck-building game based on the world of Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad. You will receive an advanced copy of this product which includes (1) a two-player starter set of cards, (2) handsome, handmade wooden dice, (3) a bonus pack of additional dice and randomly selected cards, (4) required accessories - scoresheets, rule booklet, character mats - and (5) a collectible box in which to store everything. Holy cow! If that wasn't enough, you'll also receive two additional games from Terncraft - The Thieving Tower and A Lighthearted Game - in digital format for PC or Mac (your choice).  All previous reward tiers are included.

At this tier, you will receive a collectible game box, including the final version of Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad on DVD (for PC, Mac, or Linux - your choice). This exclusive set will include an instruction booklet (featuring hints, tips, and forbidden knowledge), a John Brummel University ID badge with your name on it, a one-of-a-kind map of the grounds, and a copy of the game's soundtrack on CD. Finally, your name will be featured in the credits in a special section limited to Kickstarter backers at this reward tier and above.  All previous reward tiers are included.

At this premium tier, you will receive a 3D printed maquette featuring a character or monster from Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad, hand-painted by our art team. We've designed some really fantastic creatures for this game, so we'll give you a few different options to choose from!  All previous reward tiers are included.

Become a board member of John Brummel University! Your likeness (as interpreted by our talented art team) will be forever featured in a commemorative portrait located within the game. You'll also receive a truly unique physical reward: a copy of the game's soundtrack on vinyl - a perfect gift for collectors!  All previous reward tiers are included.

Have you ever wanted to be in a video game? If so, this one-of-a-kind reward is truly amazing! We will develop a playable character based upon your likeness and design input. We'll also list you in the credits as an Executive Producer, for all the world to see. If you're in or around Orlando, FL, you'll get to hang out with the Terncraft crew and enjoy a celebratory party at the studio in your honor!  All previous reward tiers are included.

We truly appreciate your commitment to Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad.  With your support, we can make this game bigger, badder, and more accessible!

Final Week Deals  

Want extra rewards? Interested in sharing swag with your friends? Now you can! Between now and the close of our campaign, you can make the following adjustments to your contribution to receive multiple copies of some of our rewards.  

Papercraft Monsters - If you have contributed at any level, add $5 to receive a digital set of three papercraft templates, so you can print, cut, fold, glue, and assemble your own team of Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad characters!  

Extra Button Sets - If you have contributed at or above the $25 mark, add an additional $5 to receive a second set of buttons. Note that the Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad button will be the same in both sets, but the remaining three buttons may differ, depending on what's available in our inventory!  

Extra Dust Gnome Desk Buddies - If you have contributed at or above the $36 mark, add an additional $5 to receive a second Dust Gnome Desk Buddy. Hide it in a glove box, in your refrigerator, or under someone's pillow! Cackle with glee as screams of terror echo around you!  

Signed Art Booklet & Poster - If you have contributed at or above the $50 mark, add an additional $5 to have the Terncraft team autograph your Art Booklet and poster. We'll even use our best penmanship (which is funny, because some of us don't actually have penmanship).  

Extra T-Shirt - If you have contributed at or above the $75 mark, add an additional $20 to receive a second t-shirt to give to a friend, or so that you can alternate between one and the other and never have to be seen outside of the house wearing anything but a Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad t-shirt. Because we care!  

Card Game Bonus Packs - Did you know that the spin-off card game we're working on is of the deck-building variety? The starter sets are enough for two people to play, but you can collect additional cards and dice to create new and exciting combos! If you have contributed at the $100 mark, add an additional $10 for each booster pack you'd like to receive. Each booster contains twelve randomly selected cards and two randomly selected dice.  

Extra 3D Maquette - We are offering a choice of two 3D maquettes to our backers at and above the $300 tier. If you'd like an additional hand-painted maquette to complete the set (or to give to a friend), please add $100 to your contribution.

Funding Goal Met!  What's Next?

It goes without saying, all of our funds will be pumped into making Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad the best game that it can possibly be. Internally, we have discussed some bells and whistles that we believe will add value to this project.  A few ideas: 

  • Incorporating elements of the spin-off card game into Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad. Players would collect cards during the course of the story, build a custom deck, and compete asynchronously against other gamers online. Performing well in these competitions would result in bonuses within story mode. 
  • Inserting introductory and concluding cut-scenes. We think that opening the game with a brief vignette of our heroes involved in a mission from their past might help to establish the power of Battle Dice, as well as provide some additional character development. (What happened in Portugal between Bellwether, Kinsburough, and Pembrooke?) 
  • Adding 3D elements to the game. We would like to render all of the dice in the game in 3D, which would allow for more realistic rolls. Additionally, the monster trophies unlocked in the game's Bestiary could be 3D models that the player can rotate and zoom-in on. 

We want to hear from you! Should we exceed our goal by a significant amount, how would you like to see those funds utilized?

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Every exercise in game development is an adventure into the unknown, and the history of our industry shows that even the most qualified teams often fall short of meeting their goals. Will Terncraft Games measure up to the challenge? We believe we will, and we hope you do to!

Our challenges are mainly three-fold: (1) completing Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad in a way that will satisfy our players, (2) releasing the game as widely as we can, and (3) fulfilling our obligations to our backers.

First and foremost, we are committed to seeing this project through. Over the past year, Terncraft Games has been chipping away at Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad. It's something we truly believe is worth doing, and we've put our money where our mouths are in that regard, leveraging our time, talents, and savings accounts to get to this point. No matter the outcome of this campaign, we are dead-set on making sure the world gets to play this game!

Second, we're confident that we can bring Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad to a variety of devices and services. The members of our team have developed and released games for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, NOOK, Kindle, Facebook, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox LIVE Indie Games. We're excited about the prospect of tackling new frontiers - it's what we do! - and we see the challenge of deploying to new hardware as a way to continue evolving as game developers.

Finally, we've considered the costs associated with each reward tier, and we are confident that we can fulfill all of our obligations to our backers. That's a HUGE priority for us! Obviously, some rewards are tied to the completion of the game, but the rest we intend to satisfy as quickly and efficiently as we can. As you can see from our Kickstarter page, we've already begun assembling many of these rewards, and we hope that instills confidence in our ability to deliver when this campaign is successfully funded.

No matter what, we promise to run this campaign honestly. Should problems arise, we'll let you know about them as early as we can, and we'll work with the Kickstarter community to arrive at the best possible solution.

FAQ

  • Yes! Please back our campaign at one of the digital tiers, then modify your contribution to match the physical reward tier that you want, and apply +$20 for shipping. It would help if you sent me a message, too, just so that we're on the same page about your desired reward tier.

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    BACKER: We will love you forever. Thanks for your support!

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    THANK YOU: Show your support for Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad by becoming a backer, and receive a personalized Thank You message from a member of the development team.

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    DIGITAL DIPLOMA: Receive a Digital Diploma from John Brummel University bearing your name and area of study. Choose from a variety of Neo-Victorian majors, including: Metallurgy, Etiquette, Gears & Guns. • Includes personalized Thank You e-mail from the development team.

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    DIGITAL ART PACK: Festoon your desktop with a set of four high-resolution Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad backgrounds. We'll also include a variety of themed icons to complete the set. Take your support online with custom Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook skins designed by the development team! • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    NEO-VICTORIAN SKIRMISH SQUAD: The finished version of the game for PC or Mac (your choice). • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    BETA ACCESS: Contribute at this reward tier and play the game before it's released! You'll receive access to the Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad Beta build, as well as periodic updates. This is a fun way to keep track of our progress AND suggest ways to make the game even better. • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    COLLECTIBLE BUTTONS & CARDS: This is the first tier which includes physical rewards. You'll receive four 1" collectible buttons from Terncraft Games, including a Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad design exclusive to our Kickstarter supporters. You'll also receive a set of eight delightfully creepy promo cards. • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    DUST GNOME DESK BUDDY + FINAL GAME: This is a truly unique reward tier! Not only will you receive a digital copy of Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad in its final form (for PC or Mac, your choice), but you'll also receive an adorable Dust Gnome Desk Buddy. These critters are handmade by the development team and are certain to make all of your friends jealous. Make them froth with envy! • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    ART PACK: This tier is for art lovers! You will receive a 32 page booklet featuring all of the collectible Lore in the game, as well as concept artwork, secrets, and fun never-before-seen doodles. You'll also get a 24" x 36" Skirmish Squad poster to hang on the wall, stickers, and a digital copy of the game's soundtrack. • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    T-SHIRT + DIPLOMA: Enjoy the Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad logo on a limited edition short-sleeve t-shirt. It's a wearable symbol of your commitment to this game! We'll also upgrade that digital JBU diploma to a physical one, printed on high quality card stock. • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    SPINOFF CARD GAME + TERNCRAFT CATALOG: This reward tier is something truly special! At Terncraft, we've been working on a spinoff dice and deck-building game based on the world of Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad. You will receive an advanced copy of this product which includes (1) a two-player starter set of cards, (2) handsome, handmade wooden dice, (3) a bonus pack of additional dice and randomly selected cards, (4) required accessories - scoresheets, rule booklet, character mats - and (5) a collectible box in which to store everything. Holy cow! If that wasn't enough, you'll also receive two additional games from Terncraft - The Thieving Tower and A Lighthearted Game - in digital format for PC or Mac (your choice). • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    PHYSICAL BOX: You will receive a collectible game box, including the final version of Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad on DVD (for PC or Mac - your choice). This exclusive set will include an instruction booklet (featuring hints, tips, and forbidden knowledge), a John Brummel University ID badge with your name on it, a one-of-a-kind map of the grounds, and a copy of the game's soundtrack on CD. Finally, your name will be featured in the credits in a special section limited to Kickstarter backers at this reward tier and above. • Includes previous reward tiers.

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    3D MAQUETTE: At this premium tier, you will receive a 3D printed maquette featuring a character or monster from Neo-Victorian Skirmish Squad, hand-painted by our art team. We've designed some really fantastic creatures for this game, so we'll give you a few different options to choose from! • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    JBU BOARD MEMBER + VINYL RECORD: Become a board member of John Brummel University! Your likeness (as interpreted by our talented art team) will be forever featured in a commemorative portrait located within the game. You'll also receive a truly unique physical reward: a copy of the game's soundtrack on vinyl - a perfect gift for collectors! • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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    BE A PLAYABLE CHARACTER + EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Have you ever wanted to be in a video game? If so, this one-of-a-kind reward is truly amazing! We will develop a playable character based upon your likeness and design input. We'll also list you in the credits as an Executive Producer, for all the world to see. If you're in or around Orlando, FL, you'll get to hang out with the Terncraft crew and enjoy a celebratory party at the studio in your honor! • Includes all previous reward tiers.

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Funding period

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